This week, I've spiced things up with a few performances from the American Music Awards, which will probably have been whisked off YouTube before this sentence ends. Take your chances below...
1) Sam Smith ft A$AP Rocky - Stay With Me
Vocal chops, he's got 'em.
2) Ariana Grande - Break Free / Love Me Harder
Vocal chops, she's got 'em.
3) Fergie - LA Love
Vocal chops, she's got 'em on a backing tape.
4) Beyonce - 7/11
The best thing about this home-made video is discovering Beyoncé's bedrom is just as messy as mine.
5) Taylor Swift - Blank Space (AMA performance)
Magic tricks, homicide and another outing for Taylor's crazy eyes acting face. Superb.
6) Take That - If You Want It
I do not want it.
7) Gwen Stefani - Spark The Fire
After the lacklustre response to Gwen's comeback single, Baby Don't Lie, this Pharrell-produced club has a lot of heavy lifting to do. Thankfully, it's a cheerleader earworm in the vein of Hollaback Girl.
8) Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars - Uptown Funk (Live on SNL)
I just checked and this song is still amazing.
9) Clean Bandit - Show Me Love
Sounds exactly like you'd expect a Clean Bandit cover of a 1990s house classic to sound. It's like Hooked on Classics all over again.
10) MNEK - The Rhythm
MNEK's Wrote A Song About You was one of this year's best singles - smart lyrical conceit, indelible melody and insane vocals. The fact that it stalled at no. 66 is a genuine travesty.
His follow-up isn't half as adventurous, but it'll probably sell a bucketload.
11) Paul Oakenfold ft Azealia Banks - Venus
After years of delays, Azealia Banks's Broke With Expensive Taste turned out to be quite good after all. And this collaboration with Paul Oakenfold (who must be about 75 now?) is an Ibiza sunset delight.
The career rehabilitation starts here.
12) Years & Years - Desire
There's an argument that the UK electro-house scene is starting to become saturated, from Disclosure downwards. But I reckon Years & Years might squeeze in a few hits before the door slams on the scene forever.
Desire, their latest single, is getting a few spins on Radio 1 and they've just made it onto MTV's "Brand New for 2015" list. Ones to watch.
13) Labrinth - Jealous
Not sure how I missed this when it came out last month, but after last night's X Factor performance, it's leapt into my consciousness (and, more importantly, the iTunes top 10). A terrifically heartfelt piece of songwriting.
An exhaustive list, I'm sure you'll agree... And there are plenty more AMA performances (Lorde, Charli XCX, Selena Gomez) that are worth checking out if you can find a valid link.
Back to business as normal tomorrow.
Labels: ariana grande, audio, azealia banks, Beyoncé, bruno mars, clean bandit, fergie, gwen stefani, labrinth, mark ronson, mnek, Music, sam smith, take that, taylor swift, the weeknd, video, years & years